Japan’s Shinzo Abe says he and Donald Trump will meet before US-North Korea summit

In a phone call, the two leaders agreed to cooperate to make the planned summit meeting meaningful.

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2018, 1:02am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2018, 1:55am

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that he would meet with US President Donald Trump before planned talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un take place.

Abe said after a phone call with Trump that they had agreed to cooperate to make the planned June 12 summit between the president and Kim meaningful.

US ambassador’s special North Korea mission to plan Trump-Kim summit

“We agreed to meet before the US-North Korea summit,” Abe told reporters.

Over the weekend, Trump and Kim separately expressed their readiness to meet on June 12 in Singapore as originally planned, although Trump had called off the summit on Thursday.

After Trump’s recent back and forth on what would be a historic summit, the Japanese government has been trying to understand what the president’s intentions are.

Abe, who was elected in December 2012, told reporters that he was briefed by Trump about recent developments regarding the summit but did not elaborate.

Why Trump should make peace with the idea of a nuclear North Korea

Since taking office, Abe has been seeking to resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago, making it a top priority.

Hours after meeting with some family members of the abductees, Abe said he “conveyed their feelings” to Trump over the phone.

“I told him that it’s absolutely necessary to resolve the issue,” the prime minister said.